For those who don’t know, Community Mental Health Teams (often called CMHTs) support people living in the community who have complex or serious mental health problems. This includes people with severe depression, anxiety, psychological difficulties and psychotic symptoms. CMHTs are multi-disciplinary teams made up of mental health nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, support workers and consultant psychiatrists who work with the team.
It was clear that the Bury team are incredibly committed to providing the best care they can to patients, but they are feeling the pressure of increasing caseloads and finding that patients have got more complex needs. The team talked a little about how more service users are now using the illegal drug Spice, which seems to be a growing problem across Greater Manchester and has been widely reported in the Manchester Evening News recently.
Given that the clinical challenges are demanding enough, I formed the view that there is more that we can do to improve the working environment particularly in relation to medical records, IT and car parking. I will be raising the issues at the next Executive Director team meeting with a view to prioritising better infrastructure support.
I just want to thank the team manager Dawn Parker and her team for giving up their time to meet with me and for their honesty in the challenges they are facing. Their commitment to patients was clear to see and they have to make some really difficult decisions on a daily basis in order to keep people safe and manage the service effectively.
The exec team will be conducting more visits around the trust on a regular basis and will share updates with staff via the blog.
Martin Roe, Chief Executive (Acting)